tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC February 18, 2012 3:00am-4:00am PST
so we can accumulate as many points as possible. i pass on these points to my employees to go on trips with their families. when my employees are happy, my customers e happy. vo: earn points for the things you're already buying. call 1-800-now-open to find out how the gold card can serve your business. it has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad couple of weeks for newt gingrich. think about it mr. gingrich won the south carolina primary, right? good news, then the next contest after south carolina was of course florida and everybody was sure mitt romney was going to win florida and he did win florida. but newt gingrich did pretty well there. i mean, look at the map from florida, right? these were the final results in florida everything in green on this map are places where mitt romney won but the whole top of florida and even some of the bottom, the top of florida is like the rest of the south, that went to newt gingrich. newt gingrich won more counties
in florida than mitt romney did even though mitt romney won overall. even though the florida contest was supposedly winner take all in terms of the delegates, that assertion by the state republican party was always on shakey ground, newt gingrich is now challenging the winner take all thing, mr. gingrich may end up getting half of the delegates out of florida. as of 2 1/2 weeks ago, things were looking good for newt gingrich, right? but then things started falling apart. after florida the center ceased to hold. he received his first $5 million check from sheldon adelson just before the south carolina primary he won. got a second check from his billionaire's wife right after the south carolina primary. after newt gingrich won south carolina and after he did well in florida everybody was wondering, is he going to get another $5 million check? is more money coming from the billionaire?
everybody was expecting more money to come but that money did not come. there were reports that mr. in the next contest in nevada, newt gingrich came in a deep distant second place to mitt romney. lost to mitt romney by nearly 30 points in nevada. and then newt gingrich kept right on losing. remember the saturday caucus was on a saturday night? we didn't get the final results until monday after the caucuses in nevada. and then the very next day there were three more contests, minnesota, colorado and missouri. not only did newt gingrich face plant in all three of those states, he wasn't on the ballot in missouri. that night after getting wiped out in three states, newt gingrich was invisible. all the other candidates gave speeches that night, but not newt gingrich. at least after he lost in nevada he didn't give a speech but held a press conference to announce his strategy going forward but after he lost colorado and minnesota and wasn't even on the ballot in missouri, mr. gingrich
went to bed early, didn't show up. he also then disappeared from the campaign trail, ostensibly to raise more money. and he disappeared from most of the media coverage of the campaign. in what is almost a perfect metaphor for the gingrich campaign at this point this was the only thing newt gingrich could get any media attention for this whole week. did you see this? it was -- yep. newt gingrich bus broken down on the side of the road in west hollywood. west hollywood, not exactly newt gingrich country, if you know what i mean, my brothers and sisters. over the last week or so, this race has sort of left newt gingrich broken down on the side of the road. nobody is bothering to attack newt gingrich anymore, really. the vonted mitt romney death star smear machine has moved on to put rick santorum in its tractor beam. they're not even bothering newt gingrich anymore. rick santorum has the badge of honor of being a possible target of the obama campaign. so far the obama campaign has
exclusively trained their fire on mitt romney alone but they are starting to size up rick santorum as well. they never did that for newt. you look at the numbers, newt gingrich is back down in the dumps. managed to pull off the remarkable polling feat -- he's the one in green there -- of having a double hump, forgive the phrase. he came out of no where and sunch -- surged heading into iowa, fell off a cliff. surged again coming out of south carolina and now back down off the cliff again down in ron paul territory. so, newt gingrich gave it a good run. newt gingrich billionaire benefactor is contemplating digging in his pockets for another $10 million for newt! happy days are here again! that news, that $10 million for newt news is the best possible news for mitt romney.
because mitt romney is the person who benefits the most here. mitt romney is in a fight for his life in of all places his home state of michigan. mr. romney's campaign is in such trouble right now he's in danger of losing the state in which he grew up. the state where his dad was a very, very popular governor. here is how it looks in michigan. look. mitt romney trailing rick santorum in practically every poll that has come out of michigan in the last week. listen how republicans are reacting to the possibility that mr. romney does not win there. one anonymous prominent republican senator telling john than coral from abc news today, "if romney cannot win michigan, we need a new candidate" he believes he will ultimately win in michigan but says he will publicly call for the party to find a new candidate if he does not. "we'd get killed" the senator says, if romney wins the
nomination after failed to win the state in the which he grew up. in other words, if mitt romney can't win michigan and ends up the republican nominee, the republicans have no chance in november. also in other words if you're mitt romney you really, really need to win michigan. otherwise some senators will say publicly how they need to 86 you off the ticket. so michigan, very important. if you're mitt romney you really, really, really need to win michigan. how do you do it? you bury rick santorum under a tidal wave of negative ads. this week the romney campaign plan to spend $1.2 million on ads in michigan. $1.2 million. want to know how much rick santorum and his pac plan to spend on ads in michigan this week? $42,000. that's it. rick santorum leading mitt romney in all of the recent polls out of michigan but outspent by mr. romney by an astonishing 29-1. then news yesterday that the san instead of outspending 29-1,
it's now more like 3-1. now, mr. romney did successfully drown newt gingrich in negative ads before iowa and after south carolina. but it is a different thing to try to do that against rick santorum. when you're attacking a guy with negative ads as mitt romney is doing with rick santorum now in michigan, it's one thing to look at the ads and seem like strong enough attacks to achieve your intended goal, to see if you're really hurting a guy by saying these negative things in these ads. but even more important than the ad is the context. the context in which the ad is received and heard by the republican electorate. when mitt romney was tearing newt gingrich apart, mr. romney benefitted from the fact that the entire republican establishment, including most of the conservative opinion leaders in the country, all hate newt gingrich. anything mitt romney said against newt gingrich the whole conservative establishment would say, uh-huh, yep, and go along with it and enforce it.
mr. romney was attacking as "the washington post" put it this week, the most ds liked politician in america. that phrase isn't an attack it's what the polling shows. newt gingrich enjoys a 16% favorability rating among americans. 16. attacking newt gingrich was effective for mitt romney because newt gingrich is deeply unpopular. that well of hatred, forever, for the candidate, does not seem to exist when it comes to rick santorum. to be clear, mr. santorum does not seem to have of a rooting section or base, he did lose his own state by 18 points when he was last running for office. but he does not appear to inspire the same kind of loathing newt gingrich does particularly among conservative opinion leaders. rick santorum enjoys remarkably high favorability ratings, that is at least in part a result of the fact that nobody has ever
taken him seriously enough as a candidate to go after him in the race before this week. mitt romney's strategy in the all important state of michigan is kind of shaky right now. he has been in coherent at best on the rescue of the auto industry, detroit should go bankrupt, his renewed attacks on the bailout of detroit are to the point where insiders are openly panning him all over the press. the head of the largest auto dealer attacking mitt romney as reckless and dishonest. the ads that romney is running against rick santorum in michigan aren't all that compelling for one. but more importantly, they don't tap into any previously existing well of hatred for rick santorum on the republican side, the way his attack ads did against newt gingrich. now, rick santorum and his billionaire, the aspirin breach between your knees, he's beginning to cut down mitt romney's overwhelming financial advantage when it comes to ad spending. mitt romney is in trouble. mitt romney is in trouble.
this is an existential crisis moment for mitt romney. the single best thing that could happen top mitt romney in michigan and therefore for his presidential campaign overall, the single best thing that could happen would be for something to come along to split the vote against mitt romney. to split the anti-mitt romney vote, to split the support that for these last couple weeks has been going all to rick santorum. the only thing that could save mitt romney right now is something like a $10 million injection into the newt gingrich campaign. tah-dah! thank you, sheldon adelson, casino guy. thank you for keeping alive the one guy that can split all the anti-romney vote that is out there. newt gingrich may have had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad couple of weeks. but right now, as of this stage in the race, newt gingrich is the single best thing mitt romney has going for him. joining us is steve schmidt, senior strategist for the mccain campaign and msnbc contributor,
thank for being here, nice to see you. >> great to be with you, rachel. >> i am an observer of all this but you have played this game from the inside, run a campaign that won the nomination. what am i missing, what am i getting wrong or what am i missing about the three-way dynamics? >> i'm not sure at the end of the day, rachel, ten million dollars will help newt gingrich very much, no matter where he spends it. at the end of the day, newt gingrich came from nowhere to the top of the polls, he crashed, he came back up again, he won south carolina, then went over the cliff again. i think two looks is all you get in this race and it's totally unclear to me where that money is going to be spent. will it be spent in michigan or spent for example in newt gingrich's home state of georgia that he could potentially win and exit the race with some degree of grace on an up note. i'm not sure that this donation is going to have much affect in
michigan where tonight, you have mitt romney really fighting for his life up there. >> if you put yourself in the shoes not of the campaign strategist, which you have been but if you put yourself in the shoes of the eccentric billionaire who wants to run the world by proxy, let's say sheldon adelson, we know he does not like rick santorum, we think he doesn't like his policy positions and that he doesn't think he could beat president obama, we know he likes newt gingrich and historically liked him and he likes mitt romney. he said he would be perfectly happy to support and give money to mitt romney. if you were sheldon adelson and you believed those things and you wanted mitt romney or newt gingrich to be president but mot rick santorum where would you spend your $10 million? >> well, you would spend your $10 million in michigan. but, look, at the end of the day, i'm not sure -- sheldon adelson makes $3.7 million an hour.
this isn't a huge amount of money for him if he goes to the $25 million which he pledged would be potentially his maximum. i just think that increasingly now mitt romney's in a race, rachel, that was the one thing he couldn't have happen in this contest was to get in an idological fight with someone who was a plausible commander in chief candidate, which rick santorum is. newt gingrich never was, on the basis of the fact that he has roughly 65% disapproval rating in the country. he was never going to be the republican nominee. i'm not sure you can say the same for rick santorum, that is a problem for mitt romney. >> one thing i have been noticing, and this is sort of impressionistic, i feel nobody is all that interested in what rick santorum thinks. there's all this stuff out there. he was in the congress and senate a very long time you read philadelphia and pennsylvania journalists who covered him for a long time sort of raising their hands and saying there is a lot of scandal, there is a lot
of oppo on rick santorum, doesn't anybody want to cover this stuff? nobody's really jumping for it. i'm sure the romney campaign has it but the country does not seem all that interested in what might be the weaknesses in rick santorum as a potential command in chief. that makes me feel like it's a generic not mitt romney vote. >> santorum's strength is more of a function of romney's weakness than a function of rick santorum's compelling message. here is the interesting thing in the race, if you look at the comments that rick santorum made about contraception where he committed himself to be a president who talks about the dangers of contraception, talks about the fact that sex should be for pro-creative purposes and not for pleasure purposes and peering into the bedroom of the american people, i think it disqualifies him in a general election. one thing voter also have to give serious consideration to, somebody with those views is not
electable in a general election contest. the problem for mitt romney he can't call rick santorum out on that because there's no appetite for conservatives -- from conservatives to hear mitt romney attacking rick santorum on these social issues. so it's a really interesting inflection point in the republican primary, where i think that you have a very, very weak front-runner in mitt romney but after those santorum comments, he's the only possible elected republican -- electable republican who's in the race right now but republican voters may not have focused on that yet. >> are you available to be drafted if they ask, steve? no, absolutely not. >> i had to ask. steve schmidt, republican strategist and msnbc contributor, good to see you. >> thank you, rachel.
>> i thinking that when i walked past one story tall poster for the game change movie, that is coming out, somebody put a one story tall poster by my house, there is woody harrelson as steve schmidt, why didn't they ask steve? today the most predictable and unlikely day in the recent history of the cheney family, that's coming up. plus, best new thing in the world. stay with us. if you're one of those folks who gets heartburn
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maine will try to finish what has been a disaster of a nominating contest. they said mitt romney won the main caucuses even though he had a tiny margin of victory over ron paul and they still hadn't counted whole swaths of the state. after a week of chaos, they did a recount and released new vote totals, but they are still not final results. the margin between mitt romney and ron paul is still tiny, was slightly less than 200 votes before, slightly more than 200 votes now. but washington county, maine is due to vote tomorrow. even though the state partly last weekend said washington county's votes would not count toward the total, now they will, probably, maybe, depending on the result you will decide? washington county, maine, tomorrow all eyes on you as the nation waits to see whether, even after iowa, yet another state is going to be taken out of the mitt romney win column this year. we will be right back. doesn't .
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>> big news here at msnbc. melissa harris-perry debuting her brand new tv show this weekend. yay! it starts tomorrow, saturdays and sundays here at 10:00 a.m. it means it's right after "up w/ chris hayes." i am excited about these shows. two of the smartest people i have ever known in any context in my whole life, these two folks will be hosting cable news
shows at this company. it makes me happy about this field i work in. it makes me happy about this part of our national media. it makes me hopeful about the direction and the future of cable news and what cable news has to offer america and our understanding of who we are as a country. so not to be too sappy about it but chris hayes, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. eastern, followed immediately by melissa harris-perry. really exciting and awesome. melissa, break a leg. so, this is delicious okay... is this where we're at now, we just eat whatever tastes good? like these sweet honey clusters... actually there's a half a day's worth of fiber in every ... why stop at cereal?
bring on the pork chops and the hot fudge. fantastic. are you done sweetie? yea [ male announcer ] fiber beyond recognition. fiber one. hey, i love your cereal there-- it's got that sweet honey taste. but no way it's 80 calories, right? no way. lady, i just drive the truck. right, there's no way right, right? have a nice day. [ male announcer ] 80 delicious calories. fiber one. crisp, clear, untouched. that's why there's brita, to make the water we drink, taste a little more, perfect. reduce lead and other impurities with the advanced filtration system of brita. [♪...] >> i wish my patients could see what i see. that over time, having high cholesterol, plus diabetes or high blood pressure or family history of early heart disease, can put them at increased risk for plaque buildup. and they'd see that it's more important to get their cholesterol where their doctor wants. and why for these patients, when diet and exercise alone aren't
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this has been a bad week for trying to get republicans to be guests on the show. yesterday we renewed our ongoing pleas to my senator from massachusetts, scott brown, to be a guest on this show. as usual, not even a no from senator brown's office. we can't get a response. we can't even get the courtesy of a no. virginia governor bob mcdonnell, vice president hopeful, we have been talking about him all week, he told a conservative radio host he wanted to come on my show, asked laura ingram if
she would help book him on the program. i was so excited i thought that meant we would get him, he wanted to do it. apparently he did not mean it. bob mcdonnell will not return our calls! this week is the anniversary of me trying in person to get a cheney to come on the show. remember when i chased down liz cheney at cpac? >> this is as close as i ever get to interviewing liz and dick cheney. hi, rachel maddow. >> hi, rachel. >> i think that was it. >> i don't know what she said. she smiled at me. >> at cpac that year, 2010, after giving me that very nice smile and shaking my hand and never ever returning my calls, liz cheney went on at that conference to give a speech about how horribly dangerous and wrong it was for the obama administration to try the underwear bomber, the kid who tried to blow up a u.s.-bound play on christmas day in 2009,
how dangerous it would be to try him in a civilian court. >> he wants to give terrorists constitutional rights, including the right to remain silent. >> liz cheney sort of made a little cottage industry for a while after -- out of telling everybody when a disaster and danger it would be to what she described as essentially setting the underwear bomber free by trying him in civilian court. because she implied that is what civilian courts do. they look at people and set them free. >> a military court. >> not effective tool for fighting terror. >> telling the world we are going to try terrorists in the civilian court system. if you want to talk about a recruiting tool it's saying you attack america and they catch you, the worst you can imagine is they will give you a lawyer, they will give you a trial in civilian court. >> that is exactly the wrong way
to win the war. >> you are given a trial in a civilian court and now have a situation with the christmas bomber where instead of questioning him, we are now in a position as a government where he has a lawyer. >> liz cheney professionally setting her hair on fire over and over again in multiple venues over the prospect of a si sill -- underwear bomber. he was sentenced yesterday, in civilian court, to life in prison. after yelling danger, will robinson, how the guy was going to get off scott free because of the civilian system, the reaction from liz cheney to him getting a life sentence, the reaction from liz cheney has been? nothing. oh, wait, there was something in the in box from liz cheney, what is that? liz cheney signed to a letter demanding america bomb syria. literally calling for an american war on syria.
karl rove and the good news only spokesman from the iraq war, they got the whole gang back together, even michael ledeen signed on. he's the guy who said if we invaded iraq our children will sing great songs about us years from now. do these people still have jobs? are all these members of the starting the iraq war alumni association, do they think people are looking to them for leadership and advice on what to do with foreign policy? does somebody like karl rove or dan seymour or liz cheney, if i put the name on this then surely america be persuaded to started this next war that i suggest. honestly? it's like donald trump opening a hair salon. like rick perry thinking his next career is going to be debate coach. oops. america may want advice on the subject of foreign policy but not from you guys. not ever again. you had your chance.
ixnay on the octay. no. we're done. you tried it. speaking of cheney family, did you see what dick cheney was in the news for today? dick cheney has reportedly been lobbying for passage of a bill in maryland to legalize same-sex marriage. a republican legislator who voted against the bill in committee telling the baltimore sun that he had received a voice mail with an offer to talk it over with former vice president dick cheney. the same-sex marriage bill passed in the maryland house of delegates an outcome not certain. the same house voted against the measure last year but passed tonight, 71-67. that sends it up to the maryland senate which did pass a similar measure last year, no senators are expected to change their votes this time. also maryland's governor, has promised to sign it. maryland is poised to legalize gay marriage. on the strength of a bipartisan
vote and after reported pro-gay marriage lobbying from dick cheney. the new jersey legislature also passed a gay marriage bill this week. this week, both state assembly chambers approved a measure legalizing same-sex marriage in new jersey. today it landed on the governor's desk, widely speculated because of his hopes to be a vice presidential selection, mr. christi vetoed it. so in this election year, on this issue they've thought of as a major unifying strength in recent years, right? on foreign policy, we've essentially seen a complete collapse in credibility if not ambition, among republicans. really? the guys that started the iraq war calling for a war on syria? anybody who thought a war on syria was a good idea will have to pause and reconsider given your endorsement of the idea now. but also on their sort of standby platform of electoral strength on social issues, the
republicans are becoming split. time has passed. the river has risen, today not all republicans, not even all really, really conservative republicans are on board with the whole god, guns and gays agenda. if you are a republican in 2012, yeah you can use gay rights as a way to hit are also hitting dick cheney. joining us now for the interview is republican candidate fred carger, first openly gay candidate for the office of the president. he has had a tough time but stuck it out thus far, thank you very much for being here, nice to see you again. >> thank you, rachel, great to be on your show. >> i as a liberal will never look at dick cheney and not think iraq war, iran contra, torture all this other stuff but do you think his advocacy on gay rights on which he has been more vocal recently even though he long held the views, do you think that changes his legacy in
a meaningful way when you think about him as a republican? >> absolutely. there are two words why he is supporting so great -- been such a great supporter of gay marriage, that's mary cheney, whom he loves, his daughter, who is a lesbian and her and her partner have two children. he stood up to george w. bush and opposed the amendment. he has been a hero because he has a family member he loves and cares about and he is taking it up another notch and doing lob bying -- lobbying. >> do you think there is a split or do you think that there is just a few dick cheneys out there who for personal reasons, for family reasons, are sort of outliars on this? the vast majority of conservative republicans all are super andy gay and there's just a few people who stand out from the crowd? how do you see it?
>> i see it as good news, as you said there is a split, there wasn't even a might. gerald ford came out for gay marriage in 2001 at 88 years old, first former president to do so. within the republican party, we're starting to get some numbers like laura and barbara bush, their daughter, cindy mccain, the list goes on, and even governor schwarzenegger, my home state, he changed his position. i'm the only candidate like this running for the president of the united states and i'm very proud of that. >> nancy pelosi said marriage equality should be part of the democratic party's national platform, president obama has still not said he favors same sex marriage rights, but the justice department is not defending the defense of marriage act. today they won't defend doma for same-sex married couples in the military. the justice department saying they won't fight same sex getting all the rights opposite
sex married couples have in the military. do you think the president's treatment of gay rights issue is an asset to his re-election campaign, that is something he should run on against the republican nominee? >> absolutely. we're seeing the poll numbers that have changed so dramatically in the last five years where a majority of americans now support gay marriage, not just repealing don't ask, don't tell. i would give him a c-plus with the move today, he's done a lot, he could have worked a little harder on the repeal of don't ask, don't tell. we had to rely on susan collins of maine and joe lieberman but it got done. we're making progress, we're taking the offense this time which is so nice. washington state just passed marriage, maryland is poised, had a little setback in new jersey today. but we are back on the ballot in maine, we won in new york. this should be the will of the people. this is a civil rights issue.
>> i don't know if you buy the sort of wide speculation that chris christi vetoed this because to have signed a gay marriage bill would have ixnayed his chances on being a vice presidential choice for his party. do you think that motivated him and was that a proper calculation on his part if it was what motivated him? >> i'm one of the six republicans still standing in this race. i got on the california ballot, as one of the six, i'm poised to get on the new york ballot. i'm one of four, it looks like, in the new york primary. this will discourage me from picking chris christi, as far as the other candidates, i think he's content. he made a bad decision, he said he would do this, he is a man of his word, the veto override looks difficult. but i'm optimistic that we have the opponents on the run, this national organization, they're running out of money, they're starting to get republican
votes, it's becoming a bipartisan issue. i couldn't be more excited. >> you are a good sport and it's always a pleasure to talk to you about this stuff. thank you. >> thank you, rachel. today is one of those day the beltway media take the economy is getting better horrible news for republicans and now they have to run on god, guns and gays. maybe that's why they're going to pick rick santorum. that's a reliable electoral strategy for 2012. run on hating gay people in 2012. it's not even a path to the nomination anymore, let alone to a victory. beltway is totally wrong about this. the best new thing in the world is coming up. stay with us. [ male announcer ] how do you get your bounce?
until the end of the quarter to think about your money... ♪ that right now, you want to know where you are, and where you'd like to be. we know you'd like to see the same information your advisor does so you can get a deeper understanding of what's going on with your portfolio. we know all this because we asked you, and what we heard helped us create pnc wealth insight, a smarter way to work with your pnc advisor, so you can make better decisions and live achievement. a judge in wisconsin told the republican governor scott walker there, times's up. under wisconsin law elected officials facing a recall can raise unlimited money while the petitions to recall them are circulating and being validated. since this time last month when
wisconsinites turned in a million signatures to recall scott walker, the governor has been trying to stretch this thing out. he got the initial ten-day review period turned into 20 days and then into 30 days. but today, a judge finally said no mas. the review of the signatures will be wrapped up by february 27th as will scott walker's time for raising unlimited money. then, since so many more signatures were turned in than the number that was needed for the recall, it's likely the recall signatures will be certified and the governor's name will go on the ballot so wisconsin can decide whether to turf him out in the middle of his first term as governor. but this delay so far has given governor scott walker time to raise unlimited gobs and gobs of money to fight the recall. about a dozen million dollars raised so far and still counting and that's on top of the third party largesse he has enjoyed from the koch brothers. he also has grass roots support.
earlier this week we told you about a call from scott walker activists in wisconsin a call for a march today. the pro-scott walker crowd would take their outrage to the government accountability board where they're verifying all the signatures on the recall positions. it was to emulate the brooks brother riot at the county clerks office in dade county, florida, at the 2000 presidential election. i think the idea was to use physical show of force to scare the bejesus out of the people downing the counting. the wisconsin march started with a facebook page for a group that real republicans in wisconsin assured us was a real group. turns out they are a real group, they are just not real big. i don't know if this picture captures everything but i think there are seven people here in evidence at the government accountability board standing up for governor scott walker. the other two people, see there, by themselves? they look to be from some other movement, like, for example, the one to get governor walker out of office.
there is snow on the ground in ben done harbor, michigan, mucky mid-february gunk, the new golf course said nobody could play there now but come spring, benton harbor will host the senior pga championship. a major tournament for pro golfers over 50 years old. held at exclusive harbor shores golf and residential development.
the course backs up to the beaches of lake michigan, designed by jack nicklaus, the manager said pga.com, to this day i will not forget the first time we toured jack through the land going to be used for the course. he looked at me and said "where did you find this place." where did they find this place? this water front paradise with rolling dunes, tall grasses, giant sky, lake that goes on and on. where did they find it? they found it part of it in the one publicly owned civic jewel of the very tiny, very poor, very african american city of benton harbor, michigan. found it in the publicly-owned park. for generations families went for baptisms or pass summer's night or teach kids to swim. the park was a gift to the town in 1917 from john clock, who founded the local newspaper and served as mayor. the clock family named the park after their daughter, jean, who died as an infant. they told the town when they gave the park over, "the beach
is yours. the drive is yours. the dunes are yours, all yours. not so much a gift from my wife and myself it's a gift from a little child. see to it that the park is the childrens. the people of benton harbor did for nearly a century in a town without much, they at least had this one thing, didn't matter how much money you had, wasn't a private thing, was a public thing. you just walk out on the beach and the natural beauty was yours to love. now, what used to be the park looks like this. harbor shores golf course carving out a 22-acre slice of it. a family pass to play golf at the private course is $5,000. which is about half the average per capita yearly income for people who live in benton harbor. even as the klock family was leading the way in benton harbor way back when, another family was making their name in benton harbor, the upton family founded the company that would become
whirlpool appliances. people say they don't get much work from whirlpool anymore but still home to the corporate headquarters. upton for a congressman. former congressional staffer, for their state legislator used to serve on the board called the cornerstone alliance. the cornerstone alliance is a non-profit supported by whirlpool one of the largest players in town. the way they built the golf course they started a public/private partnership and the public part of that was cornerstone. they anchored the public part. they used the partnership to take over the sweet 20-acre slice of the town's park. put it together with industrial land whirlpool wanted to get rid of, tah-dah, fancy golf course. great deal for whirlpool, not for the people in town who thought jeanne klock park was for them. they get big things done, that
is the big picture in benton harbor. day-to-day life in benton harbor, that would be the work of its aforementioned state rep. in his first months in office, it was that rookie republican, that upton staffer, who sponsored and pushed through michigan's new emergency manager law. under the old version of that law in michigan, benton harbor an emergency manager but this new supered up version signed by republican governor rick snyder gave unprecedented control, unilateral authority to the emergency manager. they have unilateral authority under the new law. not like unilateral authority but actual unilateral authority. they are the government. that one person can tear up contracts, fire the local officials elected by that town. they can even more unilaterally on their own say-so to dissolve an entire town, eliminate it, take it off the map. one person's say-so.
after rick snyder's new lass passed the emergency manager stripped the elected mayor and commissioners of all of their power. when the commission tried to declare a constitution week, the emergency manager canceled it. because under the emergency manager law, he is in charge. and he'll say whether there's a constitution week. the law also gives him the power to sell off public property, to sell off the town's assets. nobody else gets a say. these are the town's assets, can be sold off with nobody in the town getting a vote. last week as we reported, the emergency manager put the city's low-power radio station up for sale, microphones, cd players, the license. everything. all for $5,000, cords included. it's wbhc, bh for benton harbor, 96.5 f.m., formerly broadcast from the basement of benton harbor city hall with music and local news and talk from benton harbor elected officials. they had been stripped of all their power of elected officials but at least they had one voice,
right? now it has been shut down, too. emergency manager put it up on ebay, exercising absolute personal unelected control. over the weekend on ebay there were three bids for wbhc. the initial asking price was $5,000. there was that and a bid for $5,100 and $5,200 and then the listing disappeared. federal law says you can't sell a radio station licensed the way benton harbor state-appointed overseer was trying ing ting i. this was against the law, this listing. the fcc has to approve the selling of a radio station. the emergency manager still thinks he's selling the town's radio station. it can only go to a nonprofit or local government under the rules. the local government and emergency manager guy is himself a one-man local government. we heard from public radio
capital last week which said they want to find a benton harbor nonprofit and help that nonprofit buy the station. that group's mission is to keep local stations alive for the benefit of local communities. they have tried for days to get through to the emergency manager. meanwhile, the emergency manager wrote to us to say he had a, quote, bona fide buyer and it might take a couple weeks to go through the legal steps. he also told the town newspaper he hadn't heard of this capital group, this nonprofit that wants to give benton harbor its radio station back so it can be used by the town again. who is the emergency manager guy talking to about buying benton harbor's town asset, the town radio station? it's not the capital group. is it the cornerstone alliance? the whirlpool nonprofit that's so dom nan in the town with the former executive who wrote the emergency manager law and the fancy golf resort where most of
benton harbor can't afford to play or live? is it another group entirely? we do not know. the emergency manager will not say nor do we know what the people of benton harbor want done with the station because, this is the point, they have no say. sometimes in politics and civil rights we talk about losing a voice or having a say. we used to use those terms as a metaphor. this picture of benton harbor's radio station up for sale illegally, is not a metaphor. this is the real deal. they had their vote taken away, their elected officials taken aware, their democratic means of decisionmaking as americans taken away and the means by which they could broadcast their voice to speak to one another, that, too. one more thing. the guy in charge of benton harbor says when the sale is over, he will issue a press release or press conference or do something that lets the public know what he has decided to do with the public's property. he will talk and they will listen. state's orders.
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best new thing in the world. one fine thursday about eight months ago, the best new thing in the world was a project by the sheriff's department of jefferson county, colorado, a project to educate dog owners that there is no poop fairy, no winged creature ready to swoop out of the sky. the campaign involved more than just drawing a poop fairy. there. >> reporter: blue t-shirted volunteers, who greeted dog owners in the parks handing them poop bags and letting them know if there had been a poop fairy in the past, there isn't one in jefferson county anymore. judging by the facebook page created for the campaign, after getting a lot of publicity, mission accomplished, awareness raised, jefferson county park
walkways seemingly cleaner than usual, end of story. or was it? we have just received word that the simultaneously disillusioning and instructive don't believe in the poop fairy campaign is expanding to boise, idaho. we'd like to thank the parks and rec people in boise heard about the poop fairy from us. they are planning to unveil a campaign in spring, however they came up with it. jefferson county commissioned their own artist. the boise folks are reportedly working on their version. but as long as our coverage we at least hope may have been helpful in spreading the word here, i feel honor bound to point out the poop fairy did not just get invented in colorado. in 2004, an early iteration was invented. watch this. >> do your part and scoop the poop. guess what, there's no such thing as the poop